GMAT Club

MBA Admissions Counseling Packages Reviews

Comprehensive MBA admissions consulting services with an experienced team of dedicated MBA counselors with degrees from top schools. The team is made up of a Primary Counselor, Senior Strategist, School Specific Readers, Qualified Proofreaders, and a Client Relationship Manager. Comprehensive guidance is offered per program to ensure that you present your most compelling narrative throughout the admissions process.
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Based on 123 reviews
February 17, 2022
inlinesix

Joined: Jul 21, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
740 Q47 V44

Susan Cera was phenomenal!

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I come from a technical atypical background with a lower than average GPA for M7 schools without anyone in my friends/family circle having pursued an MBA. Naturally, I the MBA admissions process was a big mystery to me so I decided to look into admissions consultants. I talked to a few but stopped the process the day I first chatted with Susan Cera from Stratus Admissions. We immediately clicked because of having similar backgrounds and more importantly because Susan seemed very down to earth and was also very honest with her assessment of my overall profile. Once I took care of the GMAT in May, off we went with our journey. Btw, Susan said she will be my biggest cheerleader throughout the day I signed up with Stratus and that could not be more true.

For the first half of the summer Susan and I met every other week and would discuss in detail my background, my stories, the big defining moments of my life and Susan would provide constructive feedback throughout these take home introspection assignments. I could tell the team at Stratus over the years have put in a lot of work by looking at the activities and questions Susan would ask me about my background. By July we essentially had crafted and narrowed down my personalized MBA strategy - essentially the why MBA, why now but tailored to me. This included an overview of some key stories, themes and arcs that I would highlight in my essays.

At this point Susan introduced Melissa from the Stratus team to take a look at my story and provide an unbiased and fresh perspective. Melissa pointed out a few areas for us to focus on moving forward.

Next came in resume building and honestly, words cannot describe how pivotal Susan was in this. Due to my technical background I essentially had to do a complete makeover and Susan's skill, or should I say, art, came in to the rescue. I could tell Susan gives in her 100% because she was not satisfied until the finished results meets her high standards.

Finally, when it came to essay writing Susan worked tirelessly with me to provide ideas, tips, and overall strategies that I should employ when writing my drafts. Her feedbacks were spot on, and more importantly if at anytime I'd get stuck during the essay writing process she would promptly hop on a quick call to help me get unstuck. Once the interviews started rolling in, she helped me prep up for those using a combination of mock interviews, themes/arcs to talk about and the do's and don't of interviews tailored to each specific school.

I applied to 6 T20 programs in Round 1, got into 2 T20s with $$, WL at 1 T10, and got into one of my top choice M7 with some $. Do not think any of this would be possible without Susan. I'm glad I went with Stratus and I'm glad I got to know Susan and what a kind, warm, wonderful and amazingly talented person she is. I would 100% recommend Stratus/Susan to anyone exploring admissions consultants.

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July 27, 2022
hjmba5233

Joined: May 17, 2021

Posts: 2

Kudos: 1

Thank you Susan! Will be going to my dream M7 :)

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After quite a bit of research on different consultants, checking with references (both online and personal connetions), I had the fortune to work with Susan. I'm glad I did because I was admitted to my top choice!

One of the most challenging aspects of the application for me was how to coherently bring together all the elements of my past experiences and translate that into an application. Throughout the introspection process, Susan asked insightful and pertinent questions that helped me dig further into the details of my experiences. Once that work was done, she was instrumental in helping me parse through all the details to come up with a detailed and very focused narrative. I was concerned in working with a consultant that my "voice" might be stripped away, but was impressed by how she helped me maintain my "voice" throughout while helping me sharpen it to focus on communicating my story more clearly.

She was helpful in all parts of the application process (from helping review essays to updating the resume to preparing for the interview). Susan, together with the Stratus team, helped guide me through the high frequency of questions I had regarding my application with thoughtful replies.

The MBA application process can be an extremely nerve-wracking one. Many times, I revisited my essay, my narrative, and other parts of my application over and over again. Susan truly cared about me not only as a client, but as a person, helping me calm down during this intese process. Her words to "trust the process" are something I will never forget. I'm so glad I did listen because now I'll be going to my dream school. I cannot recommend her enough if you really want to go to your dream school!

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July 26, 2022
brbrlla

Joined: Jul 26, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Melisa’s There For the Marathon, Not Just the Sprint

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I had my initial consultation with Melisa in May 2021. Choosing a consultant wasn’t easy, but from our first conversation, I felt that Melisa was wholeheartedly invested in my success as an applicant.

Melisa was extremely generous with her time. There was never a limit on the number of emails I could send or questions I could ask, on top of our weekly update calls. She was instrumental in shaping my essays, and she guided me by drawing on her success with previous applicants. When It came time to interview, Melisa ensured that I was prepared for beyond just the schools we were working together on and provided valuable feedback that I took across various interviews.

When R1 decisions were released, I was unfortunately waitlisted at my dream school. I was ready to throw in the towel, but Melisa encouraged me to keep my options open for R2 and remain actively engaged as a waitlist candidate. Melisa helped me write strong waitlist updates as I juggled applying to additional schools. Even when I wasn’t sure if the extra work was being noticed by the school, Melisa remained thorough in her advice and feedback.

In May 2022, I received an acceptance from my dream school. With Melisa’s help, I was among the first batch of applicants to convert from the waitlist. It took a year to reach the goal that I had set out to achieve, and there were many unexpected ups and downs along the way, but Melisa was there for me at every step of the journey.

I have no doubt that I made the right choice in hiring Melisa as my admissions consultant, and I would strongly recommend her to anyone considering her services!

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July 22, 2022
MakFather

Joined: Apr 28, 2020

Posts: 1

Kudos: 6

Verified score:
730 Q47 V44 (Online)

Jennifer Jackson was a great blessing, can't recommend her enough!

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I entered the application process with glaring holes in my profile, and Jennifer helped me create a strategy to ameliorate these shortcomings. For example, I will most likely have the lowest or at least will be in the bottom 5 of my class for GPA, but with Jennifer's guidance I was able to enter the process with confidence and I had great results. Her help on my essays, generating my stories and her feedback on my applications in general gave me a lot of confidence that I could get in. Despite some large deficiencies I was accepted to a T10 with some significant scholarship. I couldn't recommend her enough.

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June 29, 2022
farrah1029

Joined: Jun 02, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Highly Recommend Melisa at Stratus!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I initially was not going to use an admissions consultant given the high cost but decided that it’d be worth the investment if I was going to go all in on the MBA admissions process. I met with many consultants from different firms but went with Melissa because she instantly put me at ease and was really warm and easy to talk to, and never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for the schools I was targeting. We worked together starting June 2021 and she did so much more than just help me with my applications. I was also navigating a major organizational change at work, applied for a new job at a different company, and received an offer. She provided a ton of support and advice on how I should talk to my new employer about my b-school apps and they ended up being so supportive about it! Beyond that, we spent a solid few months just getting to know everything about my background and what my story would be, while staying truly authentic and never trying to be someone I wasn’t. She helped me with every stage of the application and was always so responsive, patient, and kind, especially through the several breakdowns I had along the way! She made sure I was super prepped for all the interviews, and after receiving the decisions, helped me navigate waitlists and negotiating scholarships.

I ultimately was admitted into my dream school, and 4 out of the 6 schools I applied to. Melissa was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process and really encouraged me to bring my true self to the applications. I’m happy with the results and I would recommend her to anyone!

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June 23, 2022
nsa1234

Joined: Jul 14, 2021

Posts: 2

Kudos: 0

SUSAN is really THAT AWESOME!

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As a candidate from an overrepresented category - teaming up with Susan was the best decision I made. Susan really puts in the additional effort to understand the applicant's story. Her attention to detail is impeccable and her dedication was a constant source of support throughout the application process. She took the time to really get to know me so that I could identify what is unique about me and present my most authentic self through my essays and interviews. Her introspective inquiry process helped me come to realize my personal and career ambitions. She is kind and candid - the best of both! With her help, I will be attending my dream (m7) school!

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June 11, 2022
elainef10

Joined: Jun 07, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
720 Q49 V39

Thank you, Donna!

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Donna’s approach to storytelling, beginning with a systematic review of my personal experiences and followed with introspection on these experiences’ impacts on my life trajectory and goals, struck me immediately after I began working with her. I revisited many memories I hadn’t paid attention to for a while, and with her advice, I tailored my essays to the unique characteristics of each school. Her in-depth feedback and strategies to help me convey as many important aspects of my stories as I could were instrumental to my success.

I was also impressed by Donna’s empathy and personal touch – her unbiased evaluation of my strengths and weaknesses and how each school aligned with my long-term goals made me confident that I would thrive anywhere I ended up applying. She also gently reminded me of deadlines and helped me stay on top of the application process, from test-taking to school research to essay-writing, which was plenty to juggle along with a full-time job. As a whole, I found her very enthusiastic, encouraging, and responsive, and I highly recommend her. Thanks again for your help, Donna!

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June 06, 2022
AtriPC

Joined: Jun 06, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Donna is the best!

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As a mechanical engineer working at a refinery in Singapore, when I decided to pursue an MBA in the US, I was dreading the process of writing application essays to portray my skills and leadership qualities. Working in a single company all my life, I had very little (recent) experience with behavioural interviews as well.

I am extremely grateful to Donna for guiding and coaching me through the application process. She was extremely patient with me as we dived deeper into my personal motivations and post-MBA goals. Based on my aspirations, she worked with me to narrow down the schools which were a fit for me based on my preferences. Eventually, I opted to work on 4 schools - out of which I got accepted into 2, one of which provided significant scholarship.

What truly sets Donna apart is the quality of her feedback. From conducting mock interviews, reviewing my resumes, to critiquing my essays through multiple revisions (sometimes up to 6 times), she was always eager to help me ensure that my application was holistic and represented my best self. I'd also like to recognise her team at Stratus which included a proofreader and an independent school reviewer, whose insights were invaluable to my application.

After working with her for more than 8 months, I'm extremely delighted to be going to one of the top business schools in the US next fall. I owe this success to Donna. I've been extremely fortunate to have been mentored by her and couldn’t recommend her enough to anyone who is looking to begin a similar journey.

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May 26, 2022
venbiv

Joined: Mar 16, 2022

Posts: 12

Kudos: 6

Susan has Expertise & Heart - BEST investment ever!!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

If I could offer a single piece of advice to someone interested in business school, it would be: work with Susan Cera. Susan helped me secure multiple acceptances, including 3 full-ride scholarships (including one to an M7) and a substantial scholarship to Wharton. Honestly, that success alone is enough for me to offer Susan my highest recommendation (11/10 !) and to tell everyone I know to hire her ASAP. However, Susan brought so much more to our relationship than the feedback one would expect from a consultant. She brought unyielding support (at times, she felt more like a therapist than coach), so much positivity (even while chatting as her daughter was in the hospital), and, truthfully, heart. Susan really, really will be in your corner throughout this process. She wants the best for her clients and consistently (underscore consistently!) goes above and beyond to ensure they submit high-caliber applications that reflect who they are.

When I first connected with Susan, I had a "feeling" as to why business school was the right next step for me, but as a nontraditional candidate, I was super naive about the process and business school, in general. I had an ambiguous dream career and a surface-level rationale as to why an MBA would help me get there. Susan always knew what questions to ask and what sort of guidance to offer to help me tease out my short- and long-term goals. She also has extensive knowledge of business school and the different programs, so she helped me connect the dots between the skills I wanted to develop and what I would learn from an MBA. This helped me answer the "why an MBA now?" interview question confidently and with ease. Perhaps more importantly, Susan made me believe that I was a strong fit for business school. Susan made such an effort to get to know me and helped me realize my place at top MBA programs. She also ensured my applications were an authentic reflection of me, my experiences, and my dreams, and it was this authenticity that I think caught the eyes of admissions committees. On that note, I feel more confident entering business school after having worked with Susan. Knowing that I presented my full self to admissions and was accepted has lessened my imposter syndrome. I was accepted based on who I am and what I can bring to the table - I cannot thank Susan enough for this confidence boost and peace of mind!!

Overall, I am, of course, thrilled to be attending school in the fall and to be done with this arduous process, but at the same time, I will miss my sessions with Susan. She is THAT wonderful, THAT motivating, THAT inspiring. I feel immensely lucky to have worked with her!

Lastly, a big shoutout to Melisa - she was another huge help in my strategy session and congratulated me with every interview invite and acceptance I received. Thanks, Melisa, for your support and warmth! I am glad Susan brought you into our sessions. 

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May 25, 2022
mba606522

Joined: May 25, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Jennifer is the BEST!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I highly recommend working with Jennifer and Stratus! She is absolutely incredible and made the biggest difference in my application journey. I was terrified of this process and felt that I had a lot working against me as I considered business school, with an undergraduate GPA much lower than the average at my top choice programs. Jennifer participated in a webinar with my Forte MBALaunch cohort, and I immediately knew I wanted to work with her.

Jennifer helped me explain the challenges I faced during my undergraduate years and provided constructive feedback at every step of the way. She also helped me stick to my timeline and followed up with me when I was working long hours and needed additional reminders to stay on track with my applications. Her guidance helped me take my confusing career goals and articulate them in a simple way that tied in my professional background and personal experiences.

When I started receiving invitations to interview, Jennifer set aside time to complete a mock interview for every school. I felt fully prepared for each one, to the point that I wasn’t even nervous for the actual interview! I felt more confident in myself and my candidacy by working with Jennifer.

She went above and beyond the entire time I worked with her, and I could tell she was just as invested in my MBA journey as I was. In the end, I received multiple acceptances with scholarships at every school, and Jennifer helped me navigate negotiating financial aid. I will be attending my top choice, Chicago Booth, this fall, and I wouldn’t be here without Jennifer. Beyond my applications, her guidance has helped me refine my career goals and identify what I really want to accomplish during my MBA program. I can’t thank her enough and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her!

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